President and CEO
As one of the nation’s leading urban park planners, Beth White brings a broad range of experience and accomplishments to her role at Houston Parks Board. In January 2012, President Obama appointed Beth White to the National Capital Planning Commission, the federal planning agency for the National Capital Region. Prior to her role at Houston Parks Board, she served as director, Chicago region, for The Trust For Public Land and oversaw the development of Chicago’s innovative park and elevated trail system, The 606. Over the past decade, White has led several successful projects that involved public-private partnerships, planning, fundraising and opening new parks throughout the Chicago metropolitan region, spanning three states. White was also instrumental in the designation of Hackmatack, the only U.S. National Wildlife Refuge within 150 miles of Chicago and Milwaukee.
Prior to her work at The Trust for Public Land, White served as Chicago Housing Authority managing director in charge of communication activities, resource development and intergovernmental relations. She also served as Chief of Staff for the Chicago Transit Board, directed the initial phases of Chicago's $100 million Empowerment Zone program, supervised the City of Chicago's award-winning CitySpace program, and, as the founding executive director of the non-profit Friends of the Chicago River, led the creation of the lauded Chicago River Urban Design Guidelines. She holds a Master’s degree in urban studies from Loyola University and a Bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Northwestern University.
Adrin P. Biagas
Land Acquisition Manager
Adrin Biagas joined the Houston Parks Board in May 2015. As the land acquisition manager, Adrin oversees all aspects of the acquisition of parcels/properties for the Bayou Greenways 2020 Project and for the creation of parkland. Adrin brings with him over 13 years of experience within the real estate industry that includes development, residential and new construction. Adrin’s experience also includes land acquisition and project management roles in local government as well as in the telecommunications industry. Adrin received his Bachelor of Business Administration from LeTourneau University and has his Texas Real Estate License.
John Brandt, ASLA PLA
Bayou Greenways Project Manager
John joined the Houston Parks Board in July 2016, returning to Houston after 5 years in Hong Kong where he served as a Design Director for an architecture firm. His work abroad focused on large scale land development projects in China/ SE Asia with extensive public space and greenspace systems. Prior to working abroad, he worked for a prominent local landscape architecture firm on a broad spectrum of complex projects with park, public space and greenway components. John received his Bachelors of Landscape Architecture from The Pennsylvania State University. As the Bayou Greenways Project Manager John works closely with in-house staff, consultant design teams and stakeholders to implement the Bayou Greenways master plan.
Catherine Butsch Villarreal
Director of Communications
Catherine Butsch joined the Houston Parks Board in October 2014. She aims to raise local and national awareness of the Bayou Greenways project and help establish it as a signature feature of the City of Houston. Prior to moving to Texas, Catherine lived in Washington, D.C., and worked in communications at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a public health advocacy organization, and at a public relations firm. She graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Public Policy in 2010. Born and raised in Atlanta, Ga., Catherine spends her free time enjoying both Houston’s great trails and restaurants.
Tina joined the Houston Parks Board in March 2016. As Development Coordinator, Tina is responsible for donor database management, serving as the community liaison for our Neighborhood Partnership Program, and supports the Director of Development with fundraising events, grant applications, and reporting. Tina has worked in various industries and brings non-profit experience from her work with Brigid’s Place and the St. Paul Scholarship Foundation. Tina has a BA in English from the University of Houston. She enjoys organizing digital music collections and is hooked on crocheting.
Bayou Greenways Greenspace Manager
Russ Clements joined the Houston Parks Board in June 2014. As a bayou greenways greenspace manager, Russ is responsible for oversight of contractor work along the bayous, including turf establishment, wildflower planting, mowing, removing litter and heavy debris, graffiti abatement, forestry work and maintenance of site amenities. Prior to joining the Houston Parks Board, Russ had eight years of experience with the Harris County Flood Control District as a vegetation management inspector and supervisor. Russ also worked in the telecommunications industry for over 20 years in various capacities such as management, engineering, construction, technical operations and sales. Russ is a U.S. Navy Submarine Veteran.
Bayou Greenways Natural Resource Manager
Keith Crenshaw joined the Houston Parks Board in May 2015. As the natural resources manager, Keith is responsible for developing the Natural Resources Program, including the creation and implementation of pilot projects along the Bayou Greenways system. Keith will also be tasked with developing an environmental education program and coordinating volunteers. Prior to joining the Houston Parks Board, Keith served as an urban biologist and natural resource specialist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. His work earned him the 2012 Chapter Advisor of the Year for the Texas Master Naturalist Program. Keith also worked with the City of Sunset Valley where he prepared environmental assessments and managed over 200 acres of wild public land and trails. Keith received his Bachelor of Science in Range and Wildlife Management with a Minor in Biology from Texas A&M University, Kingsville.
Tom Gall received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Building Construction Management at Purdue University; West Lafayette, Indiana in 1982. He is an accomplished construction professional with 30 years of program management experience. Previously Tom worked for the Westchase District as Assistant Projects Director and was responsible for day-to-day maintenance of landscaped esplanades, District street signage, and monument corner markers. Tom also served as President of T.J. Gall & Associates, Inc. which provided Program Development services for trails, parks, urban streets, medical, property development and urban infill projects involving mixed-use planned development zoning that enhance the community and the built environment. Tom serves as President of the White Oak Bayou association, is a member of H-GAC Ped/ Bike subcommittee and is a League of American Bicyclists “League Certified Instructor”.
Denise is a Houston Native who joined the Houston Parks Board in July of 2015. She graduated from the University of Houston Bauer Business school with a BA in accounting. She is currently working toward her CPA license. She brings non-profit accounting experience working for well-known non-profits such as the Children’s Museum of Houston and the Houston Zoo as well as public accounting experience from Blazek & Vetterling. Denise is enthusiastic about being a positive change in Houston.
Bayou Greenways Asset Manager
Dan joins the Houston Parks Board as a member of the Conservation and Maintenance team. He brings with him over 18 years of experience in landscape design, environmental preservation and tree relocation. As a licensed landscape architect, Dan has worked on both the design side and project management side of projects.
Marvin is a Houston Native who joined the Houston Parks Board in July of 2016. As a Greenspace Manager, Marvin is responsible for oversight of contractor work along the bayous, including turf establishment, wildflower planting, mowing, removing litter and heavy debris, graffiti abatement, forestry work and maintenance of site amenities. Prior to joining the Houston Parks Board, Marvin had seven years of experience with the Harris County Flood Control District working as Construction/Development Coordination Inspector and Property Manager. Marvin received his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Texas Southern University.
Arun joined the Houston Parks Board in January 2016. He graduated from the University of Houston C.T. Bauer College of Business with a B.B.A. in Accounting and is currently working towards the requirements needed to sit for the CPA exam. As a staff accountant, Arun assists in duties such as contribution reconciliations, month end reconciliations and preparation of financial reports. Arun is excited about his role as a staff accountant and supporting a strong Finance & Accounting department here at the Houston Parks Board.
Lisa Kasianowitz joined the Houston Parks Board in March 2015. As the Outreach Manager, she connects the Houston Parks Board with community-focused and civic-minded groups as well as elected officials and partners to receive their input and inform them about the organization’s Bayou Greenways 2020 project. The manager is also responsible for answering public inquiries, hosting presentations about the organization’s projects and assisting with event planning.
Before joining the Houston Parks Board, Lisa served as a media spokeswoman and community relations coordinator with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Lisa received her Bachelor of Arts in Letters, Arts and Sciences with a concentration in Environmental Science, Political Science, English and History from Pennsylvania State University.
Bayou Greenways Program Manager
Richard joined the Houston Parks Board in 2013 as the Bayou Greenways Program Manager with more than 28 years of experience as a landscape architect and project manager. Prior to this position Richard served as Principal of a local landscape architecture firm and managed the planning and design process of numerous park projects around the state of Texas, including more than 60 projects in Harris County. As the Bayou Greenways Program Manager, Richard works closely with the Executive Director and Projects Team to manage the various segments of the Bayou Greenways 2020 Project.
Director of Finance
In February 2015, Jeri joined the Houston Parks Board after serving for three-plus years as Controller at KIPP Houston Public Schools. She brings her years of experience in nonprofit accounting, financial management, administration, planning, and fund development along with her passion for HPB’s mission and projects to her role as Director of Finance. Before pursuing a career in nonprofit management, Jeri was a commercial banker for nearly eight years with a major bank in Chicago, Illinois. She received her MBA in finance and economics from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and her BA in English, with French and math minors, from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.
Tiffany joined the Houston Parks Board in August 2015. As the communications coordinator, Tiffany focuses on the organization’s social media, e-communication and web presence. Prior to the Houston Parks Board, she worked at the University of Houston for three years. She has managed various social media platforms and has experience in event planning, email marketing and web editing. Tiffany has a BA in English from Texas State University and enjoys photography and poetry. Her work has been published in Glass Mountain Literary Journal, which is her proudest achievement in life thus far.
GIS Project Coordinator
Sarah is a native Houstonian who joined the Houston Parks Board in May 2015. As Administrative Manager, she handles various aspects of administration including payroll, human resources, and office management. Prior to working with Houston Parks Board, Sarah worked in the Curatorial department of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation. Sarah brings with her over 10 years of experience in the real estate world that includes GIS mapping, tax and title research, appraisal and title company experience. Sarah is a graduate of the University of Texas, Austin.
Charles H. Place, AIA
Managing Director of Capital Programs
Chip Place has over 30 years of experience directing large scale land development projects. For the last 13 years his career has focused on urban parks, including directing the planning and design of Brooklyn Bridge Park and capital projects for the New York City Region of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. For the last 3 years Chip has served as the Managing Director of Capital Programs for the Houston Parks Board where he is responsible for land acquisition, design and construction of Bayou Greenways 2020, creating 150 miles of linear parks along Houston’s major waterways. Chip graduated from the Rice University School of Architecture and the University of Houston Law Center.
Administrative Manager Capital Programs
Rachel Ranta joined the Houston Parks Board in May 2015. As Administrative Manager, Rachel provides support to the organization’s Capital Projects team and is responsible for program management reports and organizing project records. Rachel brings over a decade of office management experience plus knowledge of non-profit organizations through her work at the Lawndale Art Center and Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. Rachel received her MFA from the University of Houston and BFA from Maryville College, St. Louis.
Bayou Greenways Conservation & Maintenance Director
Trent joined the staff in 1999, and served 15 years as the Project Manager. Recently, he took on the role of Maintenance Manager for the Bayou Greenways 2020 program. For more than 25 years, he has been involved in many different aspects of the design professions, including park planning and development, landscape architecture, environmental design, land planning and architecture. Prior to coming to Houston, Trent worked with the Indianapolis Parks and Recreation Department and was co-founder of his own park and playground design firm.
SR/WA, Senior Land Acquisition Specialist
Carol Rosborough, who joined the Houston Parks Board in July 2015 as a Senior Land Acquisition Specialist, is a licensed Real Estate Broker and Real Estate Instructor for the State of Texas. She achieved professional status as a Senior Right of Way Professional with International Right of Way Association through experience, education and examination. Carol has over 21 years of experience within the real estate industry from property management, commercial and residential real estate transactions. She has over 11 years of experience in property acquisition, title curative issues, and completing complex real estate transactions and projects with City engineers, attorney, developers and governmental entities while working in the local government industry. Carol has superior leadership, real estate project management and customer service skills. Carol has a BA from U.C.L.A. and a J.D. from Thurgood Marshall School of Law.
Director of Development
Deborah joined the Houston Parks Board in 1999. Her major responsibilities include implementation of development strategies for operations and projects, donor database management, grant administration and oversight/organization of special events. Deborah fills her free-time with as much hiking, backpacking, gardening and running as possible.
Bayou Greenways Greenspace Manager
Darrell, who goes by DK, has 32 years of experience in the infrastructure industry. Prior to his position at HPB, he worked at Harris County Flood Control District, where he was responsible for the daily operations of projects under his supervision. This included management and coordination with contractors and the projects team to insure successful completion within the budget and time constraints.
Capital Programs Assistant
Linda joined the Houston Parks Board in August 2016. She provides administrative support to the organization’s Capital Programs team. Linda has 14 years of experience in the service industry as well 4 years of experience in office management. Being a native Houstonian, Linda is excited to become a part of Houston Parks Board.
Danny Zirilli, PE, RLA
Danny joined the Houston Parks Board in 2016 as Construction Manager with more than 17 years of experience in the design and construction industries. Being a Professional Engineer, Registered Landscape Architect as well as having experience as a Construction Manager, he has a lot of insight into many of the roles of a project’s team that he can draw from to manage projects effectively. He has worked on a variety of design and construction management projects from commercial, industrial, municipal and private projects ranging from subdivisions to industrial centers to municipal parks. He discovered his passion for park design and construction 10 years ago and has focused his career in that direction. Danny has a BSCE and Master of Engineering from the University of Florida. In his spare time he enjoys mountain biking, bass fishing, scuba diving and art exhibits.